Friday, 24 October 2014

SYDNEY REVIEW: An Restaurant (Pho An)

Pho AND wordplay! Can it get any better?
YAY! Sydney review time! If you follow my Facebook or my Instagram you would know that I went to Sydney recently. If you don't follow my  Facebook or my Instagram, why don't you? I would love it! Plus you'd know I went to Sydney! It's a win win.

Enter on the left, exit on the right!
I haven't told you yet but I am obsessed with Vietnamese. It seems to be having a moment here in Brisbane and I was pleased to hear that my sister was taking me to one of Sydney's best pho restaurants. If you're not yet fluent in the world of pho-y delights, let me tell you all about it. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, made out of flat rice noodles with thinly sliced raw beef and some herbs on top. Then a piping hot, amazingly tasty broth is poured on top. This cooks the beef and all the goodness stays in the soup. I've looked into making it at home, and may well do one day but it's an incredibly long process with the broth cooked from 3 to 9 hours! Ain't nobody got time for that! Well, not right now anyway.

So much concentration on pho.

So my sister told me she was taking me to get pho from An Restaurant (aka as Pho An in various places) and that it was good. I was sceptical that there would be pho that beat my local Vietnamese shop but being mad for pho, I was excited at the prospect. We drove to Bankstown and soon were walking up to a pretty unassuming restaurant. Straight away, I could tell that An Restaurant was not messing around with a separate entry and exit door. In one way and out the other!

Look at all those bean sprouts and chilli. You could practically make a meal out of the condiments alone.

Once we got inside, I could see that speediness was a theme here, this wasn't the venue for a long, lingering lunch. This is a eat it and beat it kinda place. The tables and chairs are basic with no cushions or tablecloths, so the waiters can wipe things down and seat the next party straight after you. It felt reminiscent of an Asian hawker market. You're definitely coming here for the ambience. We sat down and straight away the waiter was there. Since it's only pho available in either pho bo (beef) or pho ga (chicken), there really isn't that much deliberating. My sister choose a medium Pho Topped with Chicken ($13) and I was feeling really brave so I went for a medium Pho Topped with Beef Combination ($13.50). Beef combination is rare beef, cooked beef, been tendon and tripe. I asked for no tripe and half a serve of noodles, my sister asked for no coriander. I sensed that the waiter was a little irritated by the two picky girls making changes to the menu but what can you do. Bishes have needs, yo.

My pho before I customised can see the tripe floating there. FYI, I totally ate the tendon and tried the tripe. Culinary adventurer.

The pho came out super quickly. I could see tripe floating around my bowl but with one sip, I couldn't possibly hold that against them. I was in pho heaven. The pho from my local Vietnamese shop suddenly seemed like week old dish water. I swore. My eyes rolled around in my head. I basically shovelled this delicious ambrosia into my face hole as fast as I could bring the spoon to my mouth. Then suddenly a great sadness overcame me. The best pho I'd ever eaten was a 929 kilometre drive from my house. And An Restaurant does do takeaway, but I just don't think I'll get it home in time. What a double edged sword this turned out to be.

And after I customised it! Look at it in all it's glory!

My sister lost the ordering game, her pho was a sight more bland than mine however this could be in part due to her dislike of coriander as she is a crazy person. It was good but my beef pho was just on another level. She did have more noodles than me, so half of my request was delivered. She was happy with her order and had been curious as to see what the chicken pho was but we both agreed that there was no point in getting anything except the beef pho.

Wow, no offence Chicken Pho, but your sister Beef Pho is way hotter than you.

There was a great selection of condiments which really makes pho for me, with lashings of chilli and lots of crunchy bean sprouts. My sister also got a fresh young coconut juice which confirmed to me that I do not like fresh coconut juice. There were nice big chunks of coconut down the bottom though so if you're partial, you'd probably like it.

Looks like water, but isn't.

As soon as we had finished, the waiters were nearby to get the bill and we were out the door! By the specific exit, of course. My sister couldn't help but laugh at my mixed of delight and despair. It was honestly the best pho I've ever had. I can't help but wonder how much better it could get? What are they serving up in Vietnam? Could it be better? Perhaps my pho journey is just beginning...

Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Price: 3/5
Atmosphere: 1/5

Pho An on Urbanspoon

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